From the Road

Q2, hello!

April 1, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Hello Pinot-people, greetings from Ireland this week and welcome to April. Is it Spring yet? We had snow here yesterday and hail the day before – what is going on?

Welcome to my blog. I have no idea what this will be, but here we are. I am sure it will feel like a travelogue sometimes, a food-a-logue others (is that a new noun?) and I’m sure there will be many times when wine will be all that matters (no surprise there) so hang in, come with, and let’s see what happens.

I’m home for a week or two to re-charge and very importantly, to see my therapist Toddy, who happens to be a 16hh Irish Draught horse.  Here’s how we do it:

He will be working hard this week after the chaotic first quarter of this year (Q1) that we’ve just finished. Wow.  I’m surprised Toddy, the dogs or my husband Tom recognised me, I’ve been away so much. My daughter is back in school in Oregon now, happy days –  but that may be another whole blog on its own, eek. Look out Carlton.

So where have I been?

In January, we were very happy to spend a week in Arizona and open the market there for R. Stuart and Co, hurray!  Rob and Maria came with me on that trip, it was a blast. We had weird weather though. Our distributor partners there from Republic National told us that it rains about 7 days a year in AZ. Guess what? We were there for four of them, in JANUARY – isn’t that wild? I look forward to going back to visit Lorenia and her team there in the fall, hopefully no rain or tornadoes next time.

In February I saw both snow and sun in equal measure. The snow was in one of my favourite places – Chicago!  My kind of town, Chicago is (haha). Our partner Frank lives there, as do many other great friends. I had fabulous food, as always, at Custom House Tavern downtown. I met the new chef Aaron Deal, who coincidentally is from Charleston SC, which has two stops on this February tour. What great value Sue and the gang deliver there – and they love our wines, so they obviously have great taste too, uh-huh. I also had a lovely meal at Nightwood this trip – I’m really looking forward to another visit there for sure. They are yet another Chicago restaurant delivering top tier value and knocking it outta the park – good for all of them.

I then spent the best part of a week driving from Atlanta down through SC. That’s when I saw sun, hurray, the Raybans were out. I was selling wine on the way of course, but also having more great meals (hey, someone’s got to do it).  Greenville was particularly fun, what an interesting food and wine town that has become. A huge thank you to the gang at Soby’s and to Erin Gilreath-Hester for a smashing Wine Dinner. Then, it was south to the Grande Dame of the Carolinas, Charleston.

Charleston is so much fun for a foodie! I have been going to Charleston for … OK, too many years to admit BUT … I am always happy to be there, so many old pals. I still get lost every trip though, those old streets get me every time, but I love them! It doesn’t hurt that our wines, especially the Pinot Gris (OMG have you all had the 2009 bigfire Pinot gris already? speaking of knocking things out of the Park …seeeeyaaaa! It is stunning. I have to stop now) work so incredibly well with Low Country cuisine and shellfish, all of which abound around  Charleston. There are killer restaurants at all levels there, I dare not name one or I will have to name them all! Rob visited Charleston for the first time ever in February, and he too was completely smitten. What’s not to love about Charleston, y’all?

We held a particularly fun Zing! workshop for chefs and sommeliers there in Charleston. Thanks to Speedy at RNDC for inviting us and to our hosts The Maverick Group @ Charleston Cooks! (thanks Patrick! you’re the biz). A particularly spirited (and informed, and smart) group there; it makes it so rewarding for me when everyone is engaged and tackling a novel concept head on! Very cool.

Now where am I? March…

March started again in Charleston with a trade show, then onward north we went, Liz and I (Liz Cooper helps me on the road whenever possible. A very savvy sommelier and all round good egg is our Liz). I went to New York first to visit our partners at Lauber Imports, then Liz and I rendezvoused in another one of my absolute favourite places in America, Boston Massachusetts! I hope I never have to choose between Boston and Chicago, that would be impossible, I think. Amazing people we work with there in Boston, and yes they do talk funny (the pot calling the kettle black here). Horizon Beverage, the one the only, are our pals, partners – we can’t say enough good things about them. We work with Horizon in RI too.

Back down south then, to Atlanta, to our buddies at Georgia Crown, we had another Zing! event, a private one this time, then onward to Florida to see our distributors there Selected Brands (Hi Terri & everyone!) Liz and I had a stunning meal (another one) with Cynthia Betancourt, sommelier par excellence and her team at Azul in The Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Wow. Such fun wines we tried! Cynthia is a great fan of  our Autograph Pinot noir, we love that.

I spent St. Patrick’s Day and that week in Oregon with my beloved Mollie, the centre of the world. My great friend Annette Madrid and her family in Carlton have a huge ‘Patty’s Day’ party each year, what fun! We sang a few songs, actually more than a few, and Mollie showed off her new electric ukelele (who knew?)

We had a great time!

Then I was back to Chicago, did another Zing! event there for trade professionals and our distributor wineDOC, that was great. Thanks so much to Custom House Tavern for being our hosts (Hi guys! you’re all fab) then back south again (!) to Atlanta for The High Museum of Art’s Wine Auction spectacular they do each year, a couple of days of utter indulgence!  There was much craziness and great company at the Two Urban Licks pre-High Rock’n’Roll dinner – the 70’s was the theme this year, too much fun – Todd Rushing sure knows how to throw a party!

The Museum tastings and dinners were all wonderful, so many interested and interesting people, but by Saturday evening, I have to tell you, we were all exhausted. I headed for the airport, got on a plane to Dublin and had no trouble sleeping on that trans-atlantic trip!

Next month, or rather this month, sees me heading for Virginia, Washington DC, Oregon (of course), Chicago again, Oklahoma, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and…

how about I tell you about it next time, in a couple of weeks or so?

Cheers one and all, thank you for coming


Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus  Now is the time to drink, now the time to dance footloose upon the earth –  from The Odes of Horace, don’t you love that?!

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2 Responses to “Q2, hello!”
  1. Anne says:

    Hey Trish! I had a fabulous dinner at Nightwood too — very Portland-esque, don’t you think? Looking forward to more tales from your ever adventurous life!

  2. Ruben Cheng says:

    Haha I am really the only reply to your incredible post!

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